Fetterbush (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Highland Doghobble
Give a thumbs up Drooping Leucothoe
Give a thumbs up Fetterbush
Give a thumbs up Dog Hobble

Botanical names:
Leucothoe fontanesiana Accepted
Leucothoe axillaris var. editorum Synonym
Leucothoe catesbaei Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Very strongly acid (4.5 – 5.0)
Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 3 to 6 feet
Plant Spread: 4 to 9 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Broadleaf
Fruit: Dehiscent
Other: 5-valved brown capsule
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Groundcover
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Bees
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

white flowers

Photo gallery:
Location: Villa Nova, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-04-20white flowers
By ILPARW
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Location: Villa Nova, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-04-20drooping branches with white blooms
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-01-13big mass in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-01-13big mass, more uphill, deeper in arboretum
By ILPARW
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Location: Trillium Gap Trail, Smoky Mountains National ParkDate: 2017-04-30
By dave
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Location: Trillium Gap Trail, Smoky Mountains National ParkDate: 2017-04-30
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Location: Trillium Gap Trail, Smoky Mountains National ParkDate: 2017-04-25
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Location: Trillium Gap Trail, Smoky Mountains National ParkDate: 2017-04-25
By dave
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-04-26a mass of shrubs
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-08-24a mass of shrubs together
By ILPARW
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Location: near Malvern, PennsylvaniaDate: summer in 2005one shrub in a foundation
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Location: near Malvern, PennsylvaniaDate: 2013-01-27leaves with some leaf spot fungi marks
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-12-18a mass in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-12-18one shrub in winter
By ILPARW
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-12-18foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: Villa Nova, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-04-20full-grown shrub in landscape on hill
By ILPARW
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Location: Villa Nova, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-04-20specimen on hill in landscape
By ILPARW
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 25, 2018 8:21 PM

This is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen that grows in woodland uplands of moist soils from southern West Virginia down to northern Alabama. It has smooth, dark, glossy, leathery leaves that get some purple tinge in winter. It bears waxy, pitcher-like bell flowers similar to Blueberry in drooping spikes in May to early June. It is slow growing of about 1 foot/year. It has a shallow, fibrous root system and is easy to transplant. I've seen it thrive in a good number of southeast Pennsylvanian and New Jersey landscapes in acid, moist, sandy or silty or good clay soils, in partial or light full shade, out of strong sun and winds. It is an expensive, high quality plant that is used more by landscape architects and designers than the general public. Some are sold by larger nurseries and native plant nurseries. I've only seen a few in the Midwest in arboretums, that is not as friendly to broadleaf evergreens as the East of the US.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Single evergreen shade plant needed for screening by Bonehead Nov 6, 2013 11:27 PM 17

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